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  • Writer's pictureEllen Cheshire

Zoom Rockman's Jewish Hall of Fame

At only 22, satirist, editorial cartoonist, puppet maker and animator Zoom Rockman (unbelievably his real name) is celebrating his 10th anniversary in the comic world biz with a debut exhibition at JW3 on the Finchley Road- Zoom Rockman’s Jewish Hall of Fame (on until 3 September 2023).

He started his career aged 12 as the youngest ever contributor to The Beano Comic and four years later achieved another first, when he became the youngest contributing cartoonist for Private Eye Magazine at aged 16. He graduated last year with a first from Central St Martins.

With Zoom Rockman’s Jewish Hall of Fame he combines his love of puppetry, kinetic art techniques, the science of engineered optics and voice coding with pictorial satire, as he celebrates Jewish cultural icons. Two walls of the exhibition are lined with dozens of cartoon drawings of Jewish cultural icons spanning thousands of years.

But the heart of the exhibition are 10 automatas which you can make move and speak, including Nigella Lawson, Stephen Fry, Maureen Lipman, Sacha Baron Coen, David Baddiel and Lord Sugar. Listen closely as most of the celebs provided their own voices for their automatas. As many of kinetic sculptures see these Jewish icons running a concession on a pier, the whole show has a seaside/fairground vibe. The hand-cranking mechanisms recalling a cheeky ‘what the butler saw’ mutoscope. Alongside each of these automatas is a cartoon strip extending their story.

It’s a hard exhibition to describe as it isn’t just visual. It’s tactile. It’s interactive. It's innovative. It’s communal. It’s educational. It’s charming. It's funny. It's controversial. It’s a must-see - and hear!

I’m no cartoon expert but Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool is, and he loved it too! Read more in an interview with Zoom Rockman by Dan Carrier in the Islington Gazette.

JW3, 341-345 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET

Entry ticket price: £6 per person (concessions £3 per ticket) - children under 4 go free

20 capacity, in 30 minute slots

Monday – Wednesday: 10:30am - last entry 8pm

Thursday & Sunday: 10:30am – last entry 8pm

Closed Friday & Saturday

An evening with Zoom Rockman and Paul Gravett: Sunday 25 June at 6.30pm, £8


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